. . . it's Johannsson's score which successfully unifies the piece, seeming to almost speak its own language.
The gaunt score by Jˇhann Jˇhannsson . . . is little more than a chest-tightening bass note -- think scraped piano wire -- and a half-sung, half-blown melody line that seems to exist outside of any earthly time signature. It makes the "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" musical motif sound like the Macarena.
Dubbed heptapods, the massive creatures look like blobby crosses between an octopus and a spider, and Johann Johannsson's unsettling music -- an ominous drone punctuated by horn blasts that sound like other-worldly whale calls -- underscores their strange majesty.
A jarring, minimalist score by Jˇhann Jˇhannsson adds to the general eeriness.
Max Richter's soul penetrating "The Nature of Daylight" establishes things in a sombre fashion, before we get a pulsating, barely audible beat as the humans enter the ship, all followed by honking great base tones when the drama is cranked up . . . the score is as integral as anything to why "Arrival" works.
. . . composer Johann Johannsson delivers a blend of sonic sensations that add an otherworldly dynamic to the film.
. . . Adams and Villeneuve make it work beautifully. This suggestion of a shared heartbeat between species is reflected in the haunting score by Jˇhann Jˇhannsson.
The ghostly music by Johann Johannsson -- with an assist by Max Richter -- is truly a thoughtful soundscape . . .
Jˇhann Jˇhannsson's score is so integral to the images that it may as well be their heartbeat -- it's spooky and sonorous, a spectral hum.
. . . "Arrival" hews to its sleek, unfussy storytelling, which is both suspenseful and almost poetically abstract, an effect heightened by Jˇhann Jˇhannsson's unsettling score.
Jˇhann Jˇhannsson's score adds a deeper layer of the fathomless-ethereal. Even its bursts of alarm -- harsh and eerie lowings like Wagner's cow-horn in "G÷tterdńmmerung" -- are part of "Arrival"'s magical oddity, keeping us moored to this planet while suggesting the distant, sonorous possibilities of those beyond.
The ghostly music by Jˇhann Jˇhannsson -- with an assist by Max Richter -- is truly a thoughtful soundscape . . .
. . . a dread-laced soundtrack . . .
. . . "Arrival" is driven by a stirring score from Jˇhann Jˇhannsson. It is powered by low bass rumbles that give way to exquisite strings, creating a mood of divine beauty around the proceedings.
Jˇhann Jˇhannsson's brilliantly insidious score -- alive with mournful strings and sharp exhalations -- beats an alien pulse while the private is stirred in with the intergalactic. Few closing narrative coups have been quite so satisfying.
. . . [Jˇhann Jˇhannsson's music] is rife with choral chanting, swelling brass, skitterings, and booms.
. . . [Jˇhann Jˇhannsson's] mesmerizing score intensifies the drama at every turn.
. . . [best of all is the sound design:] Jˇhann Jˇhannsson's alarming brass and booms that herald the arrival of the spaceships and, best of all, the Max Richter piece, "On the Nature of Daylight", which bookends the ﬁlm. The whole amounts to something transcendent; something to reignite your excitement for cinema, for life.
. . . the picture is intelligently and effectively crafted, one of those enterprises where the cinematography, sound design and score, as well as the special effects, melt into a seamless, organic whole . . . Jˇhann Jˇhannsson's score is so integral to the images that it may as well be their heartbeat -- it's spooky and sonorous, a spectral hum.
. . . "Arrival" is a fairly chilly, cerebral bit of business, from its beautifully tamped-down cinematography . . . to Jˇhann Jˇhannsson's ethereal score.
Jˇhann Jˇhannsson delivers a blend of sonic sensations that add an otherworldly dynamic to the film. The effect is as organic to "Arrival" as the undercurrent of deep-rooted terror was to Jˇhannsson's Oscar-nominated work for Villeneuve's "Sicario" . . .
Sculpting skewed trials in tension and awe, Jˇhannsson backs looped vocal chorales with alien drones and sumptuous strings, all to sublimely eerie and insinuating effect.
. . . ["Arrival"]: this new soundtrack takes a more unconventional approach -- especially for a Hollywood sci-fi movie . . . The result is one where sound design and soundtrack walk the same line, where experimental is favored over convention and where the stratified sounds accentuate the tension on screen.
. . . ambitious and intricate . . . A delicious blend of modern classical and avant-garde . . . ["Arrival"] is sublime.
Johann Johannson has been terraforming a sometimes typical landscape of film scoring into a thing of haunting beauty . . . haunting journeys into humanity at its worst, and best . . . subsonic tones dance with subtle, yet memorable themes, his melodies journeying into the depths of hell or the highest reaches of scientific and spiritual heaven with striking originality . . . It's a sense of dread, and wonder that Johannson conveys . . . Johannsson's score is its own wonderfully trippy and beautiful language that doesn't spell itself out, yet remains thematically hypnotic throughout . . . Johannsson again proves himself as a composer driven to push the outer limits of the art form -- yet in a way that multiplex movie audiences will want to understand, and hear more of.
. . . a powerful suite, even without the movie . . . The score reaches its emotional core in "Hammers and Nails" with an understated string line, and its dramatic height in "Escalation" with a repetition of that three-note theme. There's enough of such repetition to unify the album, and not too much to overload it . . . I'm very interested in hearing the score on an IMAX sound system -- and if a score can help sell tickets, it's already surpassed expectations.
It's all very creepy actually, like a horror movie. It's creepy good though, really good . . . ["Heptapod B"] is very clever and effective. Is it weird? Definitely. But it's also something new and something I can love . . . This score could well go on to be a classic in years to come.
Jˇhann Jˇhannsson score works beautifully . . . Listening to the album, it's clear that Jˇhannsson played a big role in the aural success of "Arrival" . . . unconventional . . . It even works as a whole apart from the film, placing the listener in a trance-like state where time matters little.
. . . [judged as a soundtrack, Jˇhannsson's score passes the test] with flying colours, fulfilling its role as an accompanying piece of art with aplomb . . . [it is] a composition that seems almost symbiotically connected to the visual work for which it was written . . . "Arrival OST" is a welcome reminder that this Oscar contender's desire to open up new sonic pastures remains undiminished . . . Jˇhannsson's latest soundtrack is, in turns, beguiling, emotional and unnerving . . . [and it confirms] his status as one of the greatest emerging film composers of our times.
. . . [Jˇhannsson's "Arrival" score] is equal parts beautiful and unsettling.
. . . something at once both deeply organic and indecipherably other . . . sophisticated . . .
Jˇhannsson's use of vocal manipulation on "Kanguru" and"Ultimatum" adds splashes of colour to his full-bodied minimalism, each lingering note loaded with ominous intent.